The Greatest Bathroom and Lounge On Earth!

Disney certainly is no stranger to circus themes, what with the whole Dumbo/Casey Jr. connection. However you may be surprised to hear there is actually a circus-themed lounge and bathroom within a now long-extinct attraction inside Epcot. A little bit of “The Greatest Show on Earth without the scary clowns.

Wonders of Life pavilion

The Wonders of Life today…

 

Wonders of Life pavilion

The former home of the Wonder Cycles now waits for special festival events.

 

I know it’s no secret that Wonders of Life has been used for festival events both during the Epcot Flower and Garden and Food & Wine Festivals, but I actually had not been inside the building since around 2003. I recently attended a preview event held in the pavilion and as sad as it was to see no Cranium Command marquee, Wonder Cycles with video screens, or Body Wars, my sadness was quelled by a trip upstairs to the VIP lounge. I wish I’d taken pictures of the elevator because it really was beautiful; dark wood, mirrors on all sides, you could watch yourself watching yourself watching yourself riding the elevator.

Once upstairs, you are greeted with an instant circus theme. I know in the past for Food & Wine Festival dinners, the reception area had a full-on red and white striped tent treatment going on. I was able to find some pictures on a Disney fan message board of how the space is used for wedding receptions:

Wonders Lounge

a Mad Hatter reception works perfectly with this decor – from a 2007 wedding

 

Wonders Lounge

The Wonders Lounge

 

Wonders Lounge

Another view of the Wonders Lounge

Wonders Lounge view

Cranium Command! :(

 

For our event, the reception area was all white, and the bright primary-colored seating that normally filled the lounge was replaced with white table clothed banquet tables. I’m  not sure if the big-top has gone permanently or if it can be replaced as-needed, but from the looks of these old pictures compared to the new ones, it looks like white paint has taken over.

 

Wonders Lounge

The fabric curtains could still have stripes on the back?

 

Wonders Lounge bar

The stripes over the bar are now plain white…

 

Wonders Lounge door

Where do these doors lead?? I should’ve looked but I was good.

 

When I walked into the bathroom, I was not expecting anything but a plain ol’ standard restroom. I was actually excited when I walked in and saw this. I realize this probably makes me sound extremely lame, but I’m getting old, little things thrill me.

 

Wonders Lounge bathroom

This is my new favorite bathroom in all of Walt Disney World.

 

Wonders Lounge bathroom

I wonder if there is usually a chair here? I loved this dressing room-like mirror though!

 

Wonders Lounge bathroom

Nice, granite counters but there’s still a circus theme.

 

Wonders Lounge bathroom

Circus tent bathroom stalls!

 

Isn’t that cool? If you’d like to check out the Wonders Lounge and its accompanying restroom, look into special events during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival which are held here in October and part of November. There are events during the Flower and Garden festival too, but I’m not sure if they make use of the lounge. It’s definitely a hidden gem of whimsy that I wish were open to the public!

  • Stephanie

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes a bathroom that is not only clean, but entertaining as well. LoL. :)

  • http://zannaland.com Zanna

    Exactly! I think my favorite bathroom that I've been in is really the ones at Sanaa, they are just gorgeous. Of course, I've never been in the one in the Cinderella Castle suite, but I'm pretty sure that'd be #1 if I get to see it!

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  • http://www.parkeology.com Shane

    Fantastic. I am so jealous of anyone who gets to go to those Epcot VIP lounges, and especially those that are circus themed (which I never knew). To date, the only lounge I have been in is Spaceship Earth's and it was kind of boring.

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  • http://www.LuxuryLivingDirect.com Double Bathroom Vanities

    neat bathrooms always gets plus points with the customers

  • http://zannaland.com Zanna

    Hey Shane! Up until now, the only one I briefly walked through was the GM lounge back when I was a cast member, trying to find our way to the Company D behind World of Motion. We were clueless since we'd only ever been to the one at Disney University. :P We were quickly directed OUT of the lounge, so I don't even remember much.

  • http://mommiesandbeyond.com/ shanna brooks

    How cool! I was a Disney cast member for 3 years. However, this is not one of the special places that I had the privilege of discovering. I am your newest follower via a post from the Disney blog email. Please visit my new blog at http://www.mommiesandbeyond.com

  • http://twitter.com/biblioadonis George Taylor

    My favorite bathroom is still the one in the Odyssey restraurant in EPCOT. It still hearkens back to the olden days…

  • http://zannaland.com Zanna

    Thanks so much for visiting, happy to see you here! I was a cast member as well, but only for about a year in the parks, I regret not being able to see the rest of the World of Motion lounge and the Horizons lounge. Heading over to your blog now, thanks again!

  • http://zannaland.com Zanna

    I remember distinctly going IN to that bathroom, and having lunch there, but that's about the extent of my memory. :( I think we went to a brunch in there as well after the place had closed…can't remember what it was for. This is why we need to meet, so you can tell me about bathrooms. ;)

  • Don

    I have been in the GM VIP lounge several times as a GM employee. The lounge was done up very nicely with pictures of GM cars all over the walls. There was a glass wall that looked into the ride on one side and over the outside portion of the track on the opposite wall. There was also a self-serve soda fountain up there for everyone. No input on the bathroom though, I guess it was just timing. It had A/C and drinks and that is all that I needed. The best thing I liked was the back entry to the ride that went directly to the car without even waiting for the single riders or the fastpass riders.

  • http://zannaland.com Zanna

    That's really cool, thanks so much for that info! I really wish I was able
    to see all the lounges, but I guess if everyone could, that wouldn't make it
    very “VIP” ;)

    Thanks again!

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  • TheAngelForever

    I have to admit, I became intrigued with bathroom themes thanks to Disney World. The only place that has ever lived up to some of the hype is Las Vegas. Thank you for sharing where you visited.

  • http://zannaland.com Zanna

    Haha, never been to Vegas, but it sounds like I'd love it. I've been
    fascinated with bathroom decor since I was out of diapers. There was a
    restaurant in Massachusetts with 'velvet' (not sure what it really was but
    it was fuzzy) wallpaper in the bathroom and I used to say I had to go about
    5 times just to touch the walls. I always have to go in a new place to this
    day just to check them out. ;)

  • KramNebuer

    Whoa…I’m still wigging out that there’s a lounge in Wonders of Life and the fact that Wonders of Life is still accessible and being used…but there’s one at World of Motion, too?!? Or did the construction of Test Track cause it to disappear?

  • http://www.concretestained.net Concrete Polishing

    Cool indeed!

  • http://links.fotki.com/rleblanc/ Eva Mcroberts

    Big Thanks for the article. Added to bookmarks permanently .Amazing looking website really!

  • Annina

    Hi! I work at Epcot and I got to see the Wonders of Life VIP room about a week ago, and I just wanted you to know that the circus theme is still there! It looks very similar to the original lounge! And the doors in your picture (the ones you wonder where they lead to) lead to a conference room that is painted like you’re inside a carousel! I never knew it was all white at one point, so I’m glad Disney brought the circus theme back!

  • Drich983

    Just came across your blog. Years ago when MetLife was still the sponsor of Wonders of Life, I worked there. For any old timers, you may remember the minuature MetLife blimp that used to fly around the inside of the pavilion — that was my job, RC blimp pilot. It was a blast and we worked out of that lounge. Great place and sooo much fun. I was sad to see the pictures with it all in whate – how boring! They used to have the greatest bright coloered modular furniture upstairs that could be rearranged a million different ways.I haven’t been back to WDW since 2007 so I’ve never seen the pavilion as a festival center.

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